Garnet Report is Shutting Down

A few years ago, a small group of University of South Carolina students set out to do something really cool – not totally knowing what that something was.

It is with great nostalgia that I write now in April 2015 to announce that that something – what eventually became the sports media website Garnet Report – is shutting down for good.

Some of our Favorite Stories

Our Story

We launched Garnet Report in 2012 with hopes of delivering a package of links to news, weather and sports – everything USC students would want to read when they wake up in the morning – in a daily email. 

When that didn’t catch on – take note, as this will become a trend – we turned Garnet Report into a sports news website.

We hired a small staff, filling our writing team with motivated and creative students who didn’t need to be paid to write about the Gamecocks.

We experimented with our coverage, trying out different weekly columns – running with some and abandoning others. We held a pick ‘em contest one semester, started a “Talking Garnet” weekly webcast another and even co-hosted a Super Bowl watch party one year.

Along the way, we became a student organization and fully-credentialed media outlet at USC, giving our writers the chance to cover practices and games. 

We covered football, baseball, basketball and women’s basketball – not to mention the occasional sand volleyball match – and made our way to several SEC and NCAA Tournaments, including one trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

Garnet Report’s triumphs were few and far in between, but they were sweet nonetheless. There were moments we felt like we’d made it; waking up in a faraway hotel room and driving over to some arena, stadium or ballpark isn’t the worst way to spend a weekend.

But there were also nights we spent hours crafting our columns, only to wake up the next morning and see that they had gathered just a few dozen page views.

Simply put, if we had done it for the money or attention, I would have had to write piece this years ago.

I like to think we all got something out of Garnet Report. Some of us turned the hard work, face time and access that Garnet Report offered into paying writing jobs elsewhere. Others just enjoyed the chance to cultivate their writing voices in a low-pressure environment. Some left after two or three pieces, and others stuck around for the long haul. 

We all made friends and developed personal and professional bonds that will last a lifetime.

We’d like to say thank you. Thank you to the many thousand people who read our stories and few thousand who tweeted with us and the 12 people who bought those endearingly dull Fear the Fish t-shirts.

And if you’re a former “Garnet Reporter” reading this, know that I appreciate everything you did to make working on the site such a blast. You have all made this venture entirely worthwhile.

Avery Wilks,
Former Editor-in-Chief

P.S. This site will remain active for the next year or so, so our old writers will have some time to backstop their work. But Garnet Report will no longer be operational.

Five things we learned from the UConn game

After South Carolina’s dethroning at the hands of the Connecticut Huskies, 87-62 last night, there was only one real silver lining.

This was a good learning experience.

Despite the loss, playing UConn in the regular season on their home court was still a good thing. It allowed the Gamecocks to go into a hostile environment and feel what it is like to go head to head with the best in the nation. Now, they need to take that experience and learn from it.

As an observer of the game, here are five things that we learned from last night’s loss.

1. UConn has an incredible home environment.

There’s a reason why the Huskies haven’t witnessed a loss in Gampel Pavilion since Notre Dame in 2013. There fans are bonkers. Very few fanbases in women’s college basketball can put the kind of pressure on opposing players that UConn’s did last night. They didn’t let mountains of blistering snow stop them from shaking the rafters and clearly rattling the Gamecocks.

2. South Carolina is still too one-dimensional.

UConn had the complete package. Toss it down low to Breanna Stewart and watch her go to work in the post, leave it to Moriah Jefferson and she breaks a couple ankles, or dish it out to Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis for an endless flurry of three pointers.

Bianca Cuevas is one of the big freshmen off of the bench Josh Thompson/ Garnet Report
Bianca Cuevas is one of the big freshmen off of the bench
Josh Thompson/ Garnet Report

Although South Carolina has made strides in becoming more versatile, outside of Tiffany Mitchell, almost all of the scoring comes from the paint. Whenever the Gamecocks play a team, like UConn, that can challenge them in the post, they have difficulty scoring.

3. UConn is good.

This team has made tremendous strides since their overtime loss on the road to Stanford. With an 18 point victory in South Bend against number four Notre Dame and a 31 point blowout of Duke at home, everyone knew this would be a tough matchup for Dawn Staley and the crew. Coming off of a road trip to Athens, four days prior, going up to Storrs, and running over the dynasty that is Connecticut women’s basketball was a pretty tall order. It’s always good to keep things in perspective.

4. This team is still young.

Despite having three seniors on this year’s team, only Aleighsa Welch and Elem Ibiam contribute big time minutes. Beyond those three, South Carolina has four juniors, three sophomores, and five freshmen. Two of those freshmen, A’ja Wilson and Bianca Cuevas, are main contributors off of the bench and Wilson is second on the team in scoring and rebounds.

That youth showed last night on ESPN2 in front of a raucous crowd and with all the weight of the world on their shoulders against the best of the best. As a result, USC turned the ball over 17 times and had a plethora of lapses defensively.

5. The future is still bright.

With six regular season games left, three of which are against ranked opponents, and an SEC Tournament, the Gamecocks have plenty of time to analyze their team and rebound from this defeat. This is not a team that will go down without a fight. When asked if they would like to play UConn again, Tiffany Mitchell, Aleighsa Welch, and Dawn Staley all replied over each other with a resounding yes.

And that’s the kind of mentality that this team has. Dawn Staley will take this and use it as an experience to teach from. USC women’s basketball will come back and they’ll get another shot at the Huskies.

Besides, it’s the second victory that really counts.

 

Conference schedule could help Gamecocks against Huskies

Today is the day. Number one and number two will clash in a matchup to prove who really belongs on top of the women’s college basketball world.

Dawn Staley will bring her Gamecocks into a hostile environment that averaged over 8,000 fans a game last season and will be out in droves to try and occupy all 10,167 seats in the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. And although this UConn team will be the best they’ve faced all season, South Carolina has one big advantage over the Huskies.

Conference schedule.

Since the disbanding of the Big East, Connecticut has gone from playing in a power conference, to one that features only one other ranked team, the South Florida Bulls, who just make the list at number 25. As a result, the Bulls have been the Huskies’ only top 25 game since December 29 against Duke.

However, on the lower edge of the east coast, Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks, have had to go up against the likes of number 10 Kentucky, 14th ranked Texas A&M, and the number 24 ranked Georgia Bulldogs on the road.

That kind of day in and day out experience could pay big dividends for the Gamecocks. It not only helps fine tune the team against the nation’s best competition, it helps avoid the lull of dominating opponents week in and week out by 30 points or more.

By the same token, the continual grind of basketball in the SEC could work as a disadvantage for USC. Turning around from a three hour drive to Athens to go 13 hours to Storrs in a timespan of four days is not easy, especially against quality competition. It’s the kind of physical grind that makes the home court advantage so real in the world of sports.

How South Carolina responds to the travel and the hype of this game will be one of the biggest factors in deciding the final outcome. A tired and overwhelmed Gamecocks squad could find themselves down big on the road against one of the most storied programs in college basketball history.

If Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks want to prove to the nation that they belong at the top of the game, a victory tonight is a must. Both teams have been looking forward to this game for weeks now and it looks to be the most hyped game of the season.

If South Carolina sticks to the game plan and executes properly, they will make it back to Columbia unscathed.

Prediction:

South Carolina 65

UConn 62

CFB National Championship could learn a lot from the Super Bowl

Three days ago, Super Bowl XVIX broke its own record of 112.2 million viewers, that was set during last year’s game, with 114.5 million TV sets tuned into the event. Although there are many variables that factor into those numbers, there is one particular quality that allows millions of people across the nation to tune into the NFL’s biggest stage.

The game takes place at a reasonable time.

6:30 on a Sunday evening might as well be dead time in American culture. The majority of the populace is relaxing, probably watching TV to begin with, so they might as well flip over to the big game. Even further, with the majority of U.S. citizens having weekends off, the planning and preparation for gatherings and social events culminating around the Super Bowl is possible.

When it comes to the College Football National Championship, that isn’t the case. Unless you’re a college student, a night owl,a retiree, or a fan of either of the participating teams, an 8:30 kick off on a Monday night isn’t even close to ideal.

If you throw in all of the commercials, ceremonies, and ESPN coverage that come with it, the biggest stage in college football could yield a three to four hour performance. For the average worker, the fatigue resulting from five hours of sleep is not worth experiencing a college football game. This is especially true in a generation where highlights and replays are ever abundant for fans to catch up on missed details. However, the working class isn’t the only group of people being plagued by the Monday night start time.

Although the National Championship seems to be moving later and later into the month of January, college classes aren’t. At Ohio State, students were prohibited from missing class that Monday to watch the National Championship. The punishment? Removal from any class that had been skipped. That sort of situation is a big part of what makes the monday night start time such an injustice. No student should have to be punished for cheering on the school that they attend, nor should an administration be put in the position where they feel like they have to take such measures to keep students in class. Having students in the crowd is essential to the College Gameday experience and limiting them with a Monday night start time isn’t just unfair to the students, it’s unfair to the game of college football as a whole.

How hard would it be to play the game on a Saturday? It is the designated day for the majority of college football games and the day carries an aura of college football with it. The Super Bowl is on Sunday, just like the majority of NFL games. It would only make logical sense to have the CFB National Championship on Saturday. It is what’s best for the players and fans alike.

The College Football Playoff was a big win for the game, now let’s get a big win for the fans. Move the game to Saturday. That way, we all can watch.

 

WBB Tweet Week is all that is good about sports

 

In a world where student athletes constantly come under intense scrutiny for being spoiled and entitled, the South Carolina women’s basketball team has shown that they are the complete opposite. As Dawn Staley continues to draw in the nation’s best talent, she simultaneously brings in some of the nation’s best character. With all of the national media attention, the big wins, and big stages, it would only be natural for players to become overly fond of themselves.

Not on this team.

Day in and day out, players that were used to being the sole stars of their teams have accepted lesser roles coming off the bench and still buy in to what Coach Staley is trying to establish. If you look across the world of sports today, how many dominant athletes, such as A’ja Wilson, would not only accept playing off the bench, but embrace it with the type of smile that can light up a room. How many senior leaders, with awards and recognitions out the wazoo, would move over and allow rookie players such as Wilson to step up the way that Aleighsa Welch has?

In the modern sports era, not many.

On a team where four five star recruits are nipping at the heels of established South Carolina basketball players, how could it be that those players were more excited than the coaching staff to lead the younger players from the bench? The Gamecock women’s basketball team is just a different kind of team. They embody everything that is good about college athletics. Their team is the epitome of uniting in a common goal and laying everything you have on the line to achieve that goal. It’s a huge reason why so many great recruits are coming to play for Dawn Staley. It’s also why this program has gone from SEC Doormat to National Title Contender in just seven years.

However, they don’t just display these character traits on the court. They continue to excel in the classroom as well with a team average GPA of 3.074 in the 2014 fall semester. Being a student and an athlete is tough and excelling at both displays a tremendous amount of dedication.

Beyond the classroom, the players make a point of interacting with their fans. This week has been the official Women’s Basketball Tweet Week. Different players have taken over the Gamecock Women’s Basketball twitter account, answering questions from fans, posting updates, and just goofing off. Once again, this team shows that they really care about people. They love their fans and the people who have helped them get to where they are today. Never forgetting the little people is something that all truly great individuals display and this women’s basketball team is just that.

Despite whether or not this team sees the program’s first National Championship or not, this team will have been a success. The beautiful program that exists in Columbia is a unique and dying breed in today’s world of college athletics. If they continue to stick to what they do and what they believe in, they will always be winners.

Not just in basketball, but in life.

 

 

Just for fun, here are some of Garnet Report’s favorite moments from Women’s Basketball Tweet Week:

Grtiffdavis

GRtweetjokes

Grtweetaja2

Grtweetmitch

GRtweetajaAgain, Welch proving her senior leadership

 

National Signing Day Preview Part 2: Current Commitments

With college football’s national signing day just one week away, we now take a look at the Gamecocks’ current recruiting class and the targets left on the board. South Carolina currently has 28 committed prospects in this class, with seven of those commits already enrolled as early enrollees. In part 2 of our national signing day preview, we take a look at the 21 committed prospects that will be signing with the Gamecocks on national signing day.

Commitments:

DE Shameik Blackshear (6-5/240) – South Carolina needs major help on the defensive line next season, and Blackshear, a four star defensive end, can provide that help. Blackshear has been committed to the Gamecocks since May and is considered to be a freak athlete. Depending on how he recovers from his torn ACL, Blackshear should compete for a spot in the two deep during fall practice.

ATH Jalen Christian (5-10/165) – Four star athlete Jalen Christian has been committed to the Gamecocks since May and will likely play wide receiver in college. What makes Christian special is his speed and quickness, even drawing some comparisons to Ace Sanders.

OG Zack Bailey (6-5/315) – Four star offensive guard Zack Bailey is one of South Carolina’s top offensive lineman committed for this class. He has a nice frame and size for an offensive guard and could be a good one for the Gamecocks in a couple years. Bailey was one of five finalists for the Mr. Football Award in South Carolina.

OT Christian Pellage (6-7/282) – With not many offensive tackles returning next year for the Gamecocks, four star offensive tackle Christian Pellage is an important recruit for this class. Pellage will need to learn the offensive system quick as he will most likely play some role on the offensive line next season.

ATH Octavis Johnson (6-1/181) – Four star athlete Octavis Johnson has had a very quiet recruiting process since committing to the Gamecocks in June. Johnson will most likely play safety during his college career.

JUCO DE Dante Sawyer (6-2.5/262) – Four star defensive end Dante Sawyer was originally committed to the Gamecocks 2014 recruiting class, but needed to go the junior college route to correct some academic issues. Sawyer is physically ready to play in the SEC and will compete for a starting defensive end spot during fall practice.

QB Lorenzo Nunez (6-2.5/190) – The quarterback for this recruiting class, Nunez holds a four star rating and has dual threat ability. Nunez will need to add some weight before he’s ready to play quarterback in the SEC, but some seem to believe he has an outside shot to play next year for the Gamecocks.

RB AJ Turner (5-11/180) – Three star running back AJ Turner has had coaches all over him recently, trying to persuade him to flip from the Gamecocks, but those efforts were meaningless as he remained true to his commitment. Turner had offers from schools all over the country, with Oregon being the school hardest on him about flipping his commitment.

WR Dexter Neal (6-2/195) – Three star wide receiver Dexter Neal has given different percentages on his commitment to the Gamecocks throughout the process, but is now 100% to the Gamecocks. Neal is another great athlete in this class that will also have a chance to play baseball for South Carolina.

RB Mon Denson (5-11/214) – Three star running back Mon Denson appears to have great potential at running back and can really pack a punch. Denson is a hard, powerful runner that also adds a bit of sneaky quickness to his game. Denson and Turner could be a great package at running back in a couple years.

S Antoine Wilder (5-11/175) – Early in the process, the Gamecocks were able to get in on the recruitment of Wilder because of his friendship with former commit Arden Key. The Gamecocks were able to secure the three star commitment and solid future safety. Wilder is known for being a hard hitter and having a nose for the ball.

LB Daniel Fennell (6-2/220) – Three star linebacker Daniel Fennell is another member of the solid linebacker class being brought in. Fennell possesses a nose for the ball and good tackling skills.

DE Quandeski Whitlow (6-3/221) – The Gamecocks staff have been doing a lot of work in recent weeks to hold off other teams for three star defensive end Quandeski Whitlow’s commitment. Some believe that Whitlow has only scratched the surface on his talent and has a higher ceiling than a lot of prospects.

DB Damon Arnette (6-2/185) – Another player that has seen his recruitment heat up in recent weeks is three star defensive back Damon Arnette. Arnette has been committed to the Gamecocks since July, but Michigan and Ohio State have been working him hard. Arnette’s recruitment could go all the way to national signing day.

JUCO S Toure Boyd (6-1/195) – One of the latest commitments in this class, four star safety Toure Boyd is starting to draw some real attention from fans. Boyd has been compared to the Gamecocks former hard hitting safety DJ Swearinger and that praise is legitimate. Boyd will likely be competitive for a starting safety spot next season for the Gamecocks.

OT Blake Camper (6-7/280) – The Gamecocks were recently able to flip three star offensive tackle commit Blake Camper from Rutgers. Camper has a nice frame, but will likely need time to add some good weight to his frame before he is ready to contribute. But with the Gamecocks offensive tackle situation next season in question, he may be forced into action.

TE Kyle Markway (6-4/240) – Three star tight end Kyle Markway has been committed to the Gamecocks since May and has not wavered in his commitment. Markway possesses nice size and has been told to prepare to play next season with question marks surrounding the Gamecocks tight end depth chart.

TE Connor Redmond (6-4/225) – The other tight end commitment in this class is three star Connor Redmond. Like the other tight end commit, Kyle Markway, Redmond has been told to prepare to play next season as the freshman tight ends could play a role in some capacity.

P Joseph Charlton (6-4/180) – Ranked as the second best punter in the nation, three star punter Joseph Charlton chose to commit to the Gamecocks. Charlton has a very strong leg and will likely be very competitive for the punting job next season.

JUCO DE Devante Covington (6-4/240) – Someone that not many Gamecock fans have heard of is recent three star defensive end commit Devante Covington. Covington originally signed with the Gamecocks in the 2013 recruiting class, but needed to correct some academic issues before being able to play at South Carolina.

JUCO DE Ulric Jones (6-6.5/283) – Junior college three star defensive end commit Ulric Jones has actually already signed with the Gamecocks, but is not yet on campus. Jones just needs to finish up some classes in the spring semester and will enroll for summer workouts. Jones is a bid bodied player and is likely a long term defensive tackle for the Gamecocks.

Aggies are a tough matchup for the Gamecocks

Another day, another big test for the number one South Carolina Gamecocks as they  host the number 10 ranked Texas A&M Aggies in their seventh SEC matchup of the season. With everything to prove week in and week out, this matchup will be yet another measuring stick to gauge the true ability of this team.

A&M brings in the size to match the Gamecocks’ post players with 6’7″ junior center, Rachel Mitchell, 6’5″ freshman center, Khaalia Hillsman, and 6’3″ sophomore, Jada Terry. The three centers have combined for 47 total blocks and 158 rebounds this season. With that kind of size and production, South Carolina is going to need to rely more on their long range game than their usual dump off passes to the post.

However, what’s even more impressive about this Aggies team are their Courtneys. Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams average 14.6 and 14.1 points per game respectively and have the experience and ability to light it up at any moment. Combined with 5’6″ guard, Jordan Jones, who is seventh in the nation in assists, A&M brings a dual threat combination of skill and size.

Speaking of experience, the Aggies’ roster includes six juniors and four seniors; one of these being senior leader Achiri Ade. She is an aggressive force on the court, with a total of 171 rebounds on the season, 70 of which are offensive. Look for her to provide that extra edge that makes teams like A&M so dangerous.

As a team, their only three losses were to number five Tennessee, number eight Texas, and Washington, who has flirted with the Top 25 all season long. They rank seventh in opposing field goal percentage and 26th in overall defense, which is indicative of the kind of scrappy basketball that Dawn Staley has also established with South Carolina. Both coaches will see to it that this game is hard fought to the final minutes. It will probably come down to whoever really goes after it and manages to win the most hustle plays.

The prediction? Dawn Staley will stick with the scheme that has worked all season and the Gamecocks will wear down the Aggies in the final stretch, coming away with their 19th consecutive win in front of a packed house of screaming fans.

South Carolina 60

Texas A&M 55

National Signing Day Preview Part 1: Early Enrollees

With college football’s national signing day just under two weeks away, we now take a look at the Gamecocks’ current recruiting class and the targets left on the board. South Carolina currently has 28 committed prospects in this class, with seven of those commits already enrolled as early enrollees. In part 1 of our national signing day preview, we take a look at the early enrollees for the Gamecocks in this year’s recruiting class.

Early Enrollees:

JUCO DE Marquavius Lewis (6-4/271) – Lewis holds a high four star rating and has definitely earned that rating as one of the top recruits in this year’s class. He is the No. 1 nationally ranked JUCO defensive end and will provide immediate help on the defensive line next season.

PREP DE Dexter Wideman (6-4/260) – Another major piece to this year’s class is four star defensive end Dexter Wideman. Wideman originally committed to South Carolina in 2014 on national signing day, flipping from Florida State, but needed some time at a PREP school to correct some academic issues. Now that he is enrolled, Wideman will work next year at defensive end for the Gamecocks, but is most likely a long term defensive tackle.

LB Sherrod Pittman (6-1/224) – Once a four star linebacker from Florida, Pittman broke his leg during his high school season this past year and dropped to a three star. But he is most likely an underrated prospect as he is a stud athlete that was invited to Nike’s “The Opening” camp this past summer.

WR Christian Owens (6-5/207) – For most of the process, Owens, a three star wide receiver, was committed to Georgia, but recently flipped his commitment to the Gamecocks after uncertainty with being able to enroll early at UGA. Owens has a big body for a wide receiver and will most likely move to tight end as his frame builds out.

LB Jalen Henry (6-0/219) – Henry has been committed to the Gamecocks for months now and was solid with his commitment throughout the process. He is a three star prospect from Alabama and has great potential, but is undersized at this point and will need to add some weight before being able to contribute.

JUCO LB Ernest Hawkins (6-2/225) – One of the most recent commits for the class, Hawkins is a three star junior college linebacker that will look to provide solid depth to an already experienced linebacker core for the Gamecocks.

WR Jerad Washington (5-9/165) – Washington has been committed to the Gamecocks since July and holds a three star rating. He is actually one of two First Coast High School football commits in this class including linebacker Sherrod Pittman.

 

Florida victory is proof of South Carolina’s dominance

Last night’s 77-42 beat down of Florida in Gainesville is proof that South Carolina belongs on top in women’s college basketball. Although this final score didn’t resemble the past couple of slugfests against SEC foes Missouri and Kentucky, it was the exact same formula that Dawn Staley has been using all year long and it has led to an 18-0 (6-0) record.

Against Florida, South Carolina played fantastic defense, holding Florida to 27.1% shooting from the field, solidifying their lead at a steady pace as they wore the Gators out with size, athleticism, and depth.

In Columbia, Missouri, much of the same took place. The Tigers were held to 29.6% shooting and as South Carolina made the extra baskets where Missouri couldn’t, they slowly accumulated their 11 point final margin of victory.

Aggressive post play has been a big part of South Carolina's success. Josh Thompson/ Garnet Report
Aggressive post play has been a big part of South Carolina’s success.
Josh Thompson/ Garnet Report

A couple days earlier in Columbia, South Carolina, this plan was executed once again versus a more formidable opponent; number 10 Kentucky. Throughout a first half in which Kentucky seemed to be making all the big plays, South Carolina relied on good defense and a steady dose of scoring to keep the game within one possession going into the half. In the second half, as the minutes ticked by and the game wore on, the Gamecocks compiled a lead as high as 12 points and eventually won by 8.

It doesn’t matter what the margin of victory is, until Staley’s formula fails, South Carolina deserves to be number one in women’s college basketball. The method to the madness is innately slow developing and requires a lot of patience and hustle on behalf of the team. They aren’t a team of high-flying scoring machines that will blow every opponent out by 50 points. They are a team that meticulously grinds you in the paint, defensively, and mentally until you submit and that is how the team likes to play.

As a result, tough nail biters against quality basketball teams like Duke and Kentucky are bound to happen. At the same time, massive blowouts such as Alabama and Florida are equally bound to happen. It’s all a matter of how a team responds to the high intensity playing style of the Gamecocks.

A win is a win, no matter what the final margin of victory may be. Comparisons between this team and previous national champions or other quality basketball teams are irrelevant and pointless. This basketball team has a unique playing style as does every other team in the nation.

And so, until the Gamecocks are defeated, they deserve to be at the spot meant for undefeated teams. The proof is in the victories, not the final margin of those victories.

 

Women’s basketball by the numbers

Regardless of whether or not you think the South Carolina women’s is the best team in the nation right now, there is no denying that they are good. Coming off of another conference victory against Florida on the road last night, the Gamecocks are now 18-0 overall and 6-0 in the SEC.

Just to put the greatness of this team into perspective, here are some of the numbers from this season:

Dawn Staley’s team averages a 29.0 point margin of victory every time they step on the court.

The Gamecocks have scored over 100 points twice and managed to put up 111 against Savannah State.

South Carolina’s top four scorers average as many points per game as the entire other team.

Colonial Life Arena hasn't seen a loss in 26 home games and counting. Josh Thompson/ Garnet Report
Colonial Life Arena hasn’t seen a loss in 26 home games and counting.
Josh Thompson/ Garnet Report

The Gamecocks are ranked second in scoring defense, fourth in opponent field goal percentage, seventh in rebounding margin, tenth in blocks, and 29th in forced turnovers per game. That’s some pretty good defense.

Offensively, South Carolina ranks second in scoring margin, fifth in field goal percentage, eighth in assists, and 14th in overall scoring. They’re pretty much better than their opposition on both sides of the ball…

Despite being the number two scoring defense in the nation, not one individual Gamecock player makes the top 50 cut in rebounds, blocks, or steals.

Tiffany Mitchell is currently shooting 47.4% from beyond the arc; that puts her at sixth in the nation.

With 139 victories in seven seasons as head coach of South Carolina, Dawn Staley is on track to decimate Nancy Wilson’s coaching wins record of 231 in 13 seasons.

Eight of USC’s 15 players are at least six feet tall or more.

Last season, South Carolina fans ranked first in largest increase in women’s basketball attendance. This season, they rank number one in the nation in average attendance and were 557 fans short of breaking the Colonial Life Arena’s record crowd against Kentucky on January 11.

The Gamecocks have not lost at home since February 2, 2013; a two point heartbreaker to Texas A&M. That win streak is currently at 26 games and counting.

The conclusion, this women’s basketball team is the best that Dawn Staley has yet to produce. They have been ranked number one for nine straight weeks with a roster that includes only two seniors. It is safe to say that this has become the best era of South Carolina women’s basketball to date.